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Digital skills

Digital skills are increasingly required in most jobs and range from being able to use technology (devices, software, systems or applications) to do your job effectively, through to being able to use, analyse and create digital information; create digital media (such as video, apps, web pages) and innovate to develop new technologies (software development, systems design) or new uses for existing technology.

It is possible to categorise digital skills into broad areas and the University uses a Discovery Tool on My Learning Essentials to allow you to find out more about digital skills, what they involve and how you can develop them further.

The Importance of Digital Skills in the Workplace

Employers have identified a shortage of digital skills amongst the workforce, enhanced by the Pandemic and home working and as a result a number of graduate programmes, free training courses and events exist to encourage all students to consider their future in digital and build their digital skills.

Digital skills are not just essential in software development roles and technology organisations, but are sought across many job sectors including marketing, research, retail, the media.

You do not need to have a technical degree to consider a career in digital. Having the motivation to find out more about digital, promote the digital skills you do have and build on your existing skills is increasingly recognised by recruiters. More technical roles may require a specialist qualification, but in some organisations full training is provided.

Activities where you could develop digital skills

Most students find that they develop their digital skills to some degree during their degree programmes. Using digital platforms for accessing online learning, using spreadsheets for their research or creating presentations using digital tools are popular ways that students develop basic digital confidence. To build skills further:

Ensure you make the most of the digital skills you do have with our Digital CV Makeover help

How are digital skills assessed in recruitment?

Examples of application form or interview questions could include:

  • Tell me about a time you have used IT effectively in your project work?
  • Tell me about a time you have used technology to solve a problem?
  • What do you think are the likely future implications of technology developments on this sector?
  • What is your experience of using social media platforms to achieve results?

For more technical roles:

  • Can you describe the process you use for writing a piece of code?

If you are unsure how to structure an answer, visit the application and interviews section of our website and find out about techniques such as the CAR (context, action, result) model, based on feedback from employers.

You are also likely to be required to complete an online/video interview, particularly post-Pandemic and feel comfortable with using video interview technology. See Interview practice and preparation for help including access to our free online practice interview tool from

If you are invited to an online assessment centre, you may be asked to complete an E-tray exercise (prioritising and delegating tasks) or complete an online group discussion. These are usually straightforward and do not require particular digital skills, although being comfortable with platforms like Zoom or Teams can help to reduce nerves.

More technical roles could involve exercises like designing and writing code to solve a problem.